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National Libraries Week: Media Libraries

As part of our celebrations of National Libraries week we will be highlighting a specialist library in London everyday this week.

BFI Reuben Library

The BFI Reuben Library is a public reference library based at BFI Southbank (next to the bookshop) and open to anyone; whether they’re cinemagoers or researchers.  It would be of particular interest to Media and English students studying film-related courses at Goldsmiths.


It is the UK’s national film and television collection and the largest of its kind in the world. Its comprehensive collections span the entire history of cinema and have an international scope, but it primarily focuses on British film and television history. It holds books on genres and national cinemas and has a wide range of distinguished journals, such as Cahiers du Cinema and Sight and Sound. Some journals and BFI databases (BFI Screenonline, BFI InView) are also available to browse electronically from the public access computers provided. Many of their collections will not be available in other libraries.

Other materials in the library include theses, annual reports, festival files, pamphlets, audio tapes and press cuttings. Materials can be copied using their dedicated scanning equipment. There is also good disability access. The library counter is also fitted with an induction loop system and assistive technology is available for users whose vision is impaired. Please contact the library if you have specific needs prior to your visit.


The library and its collections are available to all, free of charge. Some items are kept off-site and these would need to be requested in advance of your visit. Please register with a member of staff with the library upon your first visit to learn about the library’s collections and how it can help your research.

Opening Hours

Tuesday-Saturday 10.30-19.00

Sunday and Monday closed

For more information, please visit the library’s website.

British Library Business and IP Centre

The British Library Business and IP Centre is based on the first floor of the library, on Euston Road, next to St Pancras station. It can help you start, run and grow your business. The centre opened in 2006 supporting entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses. So far over 300,000 entrepreneurs have used the centre.


It offers free access to the UK’s most comprehensive collection of business and intellectual property databases and publications, providing startup advice, information on funding, market research, company data, business news and information on patents, trademarks and copyright. Specific databases of use to students include Key Note and Mintel. The centre also offers advice sessions and workshops and events and provides downloadable guides on industry information, business essentials and inventing.

These collections are useful to Media students studying various undergraduate and postgraduate branding, promotional culture and advertising, marketing and PR courses, as well as students from IMS and ICCE.


To use the reading room, you’ll need to apply for a reader pass. Please bring two forms of identity; one with your signature (e.g. passport, driving license), one with your address (e.g. utilities bill, bank statement). Go to the registration office on the upper ground floor, complete an online form and then get your pass.

Opening Hours

Monday 10.00-20.00

Tuesday-Thursday 09.30-20.00

Friday and Saturday 09.30-17.00

Sunday closed

For more information, please visit the library’s website.

National Libraries Week: Art Libraries

As part of our celebrations of National Libraries week we will be highlighting a specialist library in London everyday this week.

National Art Library

National Art Library
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL

The National Art Library

The National Art Library is located in the V&A Museum in South Kensington. Its vast reference collection of over 1 million items covers fine and decorative arts of many countries and periods. Anyone can use the collections and view them in their beautiful reading rooms.


The collection covers subjects including; print, drawing, painting and photography; furniture and woodwork; textiles, dress and fashion; ceramics and glass; metalwork; sculpture; art and design of Asia, and history of the art, craft and design of the book. They also have a wealth of sale and auction catalogues which may be tricky to find elsewhere.

The National Art Library also has unique special collections including an impressive selection of artist’s books and examples of fine binding and printing. The Library also offers a helpful enquiry service.


Before you can use the Library you must register as a Reader, which means you will need to bring a proof of identification (e.g. your student card) and proof of address (e.g. a utility bill). See Registering for a Reader Ticket for more information.

Books need to be requested in advance through the catalogue so that they can be retrieved from the stores in time for your visit. You can pre-register online before visiting and make requests. You can also request books when at the library but you will have to wait for their hourly retrievals.


Opening Hours

Tuesday    10.00–17.30
Wednesday    10.00–17.30
Thursday    10.00–17.30
Friday    10.00–18.30
Saturday   10.00–17.30

Sunday and Monday   closed

General and Special Collections material must be requested by 16.00 on all days

For more information on visiting please see About the National Art Library.

National Libraries Week: Education Libraries

800px-IOE_Newsam_LibraryAs part of our celebrations of National Libraries week we will be highlighting a specialist library in London everyday this week.

The Institute of Education (IOE) is a public research university specialising in postgraduate study and research in the field of education. The Institute of Education Newsam Library, the largest education library in Europe is located in the main institute building at 20 Bedford Way, just off Russell Square.

The Newsam Library and Archives holds extensive collections of current and historical materials on education and related areas of social science. It offers generous study space and open access to many of its collections. The library catalogue is available to all users, and can be viewed remotely over the internet.

• The main library collection holds books and documents on all aspects of education, incorporating a large section on education worldwide
• The journals collection has 4,000 titles available electronically and over 2,000 in print
• A wide range of other electronic resources, such as databases, electronic books, documents and websites, linking to the very latest information
• There are 23 special collections and over 100 deposited archive collections, containing unique historical resources on education
• A Curriculum Resources collection, displaying examples of schoolbooks and teaching materials for all levels and all school subjects

• The main education collection contains a copy of every book on education published in the UK, and a substantial range from elsewhere
• Archives include those of the World Education Fellowship, the National Union of Women Teachers and the College of Preceptors


The Newsam Library is open to all visitors for research purposes as well as staff and students of the Institute of Education. We have various categories of membership, some of which entitle the user to free reference or borrowing membership.

Opening Hours

The opening times of the Library vary depending on the time of year.  We have shorter opening hours during the vacation period (Christmas, Easter and Summer) than during term.  The library website lists the opening hours for Spring Term 2013 (Wednesday 2 January – Wednesday 27 March)

You can keep posted on the Library’s news and events at Newsam News, the Library’s blog.

National Libraries Week: Music Libraries

As part of our celebrations of National Libraries week we will be highlighting a specialist library in London everyday this week.

Music Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB

The British Library

The British Library not only holds an impressive collection of books available for reference, it is also home to the world famous Music Collections.


The collection consists of over 100,000 pieces of manuscript music and 1.5 million separate items of printed music, covering classical to contemporary and specialist music. Use Explore the British Library to search. To restrict your search to printed music, select Advanced Search, and choose ‘Scores’ from the drop-down menu ‘Material type’.

The team of specialist music staff in the British Library can also help you with research, as well as providing a photocopy service. Keep up with the latest news at their blog.


You will need to pre-register for a reader pass here, then bring the following to the British Library to complete the application:

  • Personal identification and proof of address
  • Full details of the items you need to see. Where possible you should provide specific references, including shelfmarks, from our catalogues.
  • Your Goldsmiths card.

Opening Hours

10am-8pm Monday

9.30am-8pm Tuesday – Thursday

9.30am-5pm Friday and Saturday

Closed Sunday

Westminster Music Library
160 Buckingham Palace Road,
London SW1W 9UD

Westminster Music Library

Located near Victoria station, this is one of the largest public specialist music libraries in the UK. Founded after the death of music critic Edwin Evans, his collection of books, letters, manuscripts and scores was donated and expanded to create the library.


The collection consists of books, scores, performance parts, choral sets and sheet music, as well as reference books and journals. The library is also home to the GLASS collection, over 700 CDs of the music of Mozart. Members can also take advantage of the library’s subscription to Naxos Music Library, an online collection of almost 2 million songs.

You can search online for songs, using the song index, or search everything else using the online catalogue. The Westminster Music Library website also features an excellent online resources page.


The library is run by Westminster Council, so anyone can join for free. You’ll need to bring proof of address and complete an application form at the library. Once you’re a member you can borrow up to 20 books or magazines, eight DVDs, eight CDs and eight audio books.

Opening Hours

11am-7pm Monday-Friday

10am-5pm Saturday

Closed Sunday

National Libraries Week: Anthropology Libraries

As part of our celebrations of National Libraries week we will be highlighting a specialist library in London everyday this week.

The Anthropology Library is part of the British Museum’s Anthropology Library and Research Centre and is one of the world’s major specialist anthropological collections.


The library contains around 120,000 books and pamphlets, 4,000 journal titles (of which about 1,500 are current), as well as  microfiches, microfilms, maps, newsletters, sound recordings and congress reports. There is also an important pictorial collection of more than 150,000 photographs and other material.

All aspects of anthropology are covered, including: cultural and social anthropology (with a strong emphasis on material culture and art), archaeology, some biological and medical anthropology and linguistics, together with such related fields as history, sociology, description and travel. The collection covers the whole world, but is particularly strong on the British Commonwealth, Eastern Europe and the Americas, notably Mesoamerica.

You can search their catalogue online.


The library is open to the public for reference and research only, you can not borrow any of the books.  However, there is a self-service photocopier available and photocopies may also be requested by email or letter.

To find out information before you go, you can email them

Opening Hours

10.00–17.00, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
12.00–17.00, Thursday
Closed: weekends, Bank Holidays and 24 December – 1 January

Senate House Library

Senate House Library occupies the fourth to seventh floor of Senate House in Russel Square (between UCL and Birkbeck). The Library is open to all staff and students of the colleges within the University of London.

We have paid for all Goldsmiths students to have full-access, this means that once you have joined you can borrow books and access their e-resources from home. It also means that you have a great place to go and study if you don’t fancy coming to New Cross. But be sure to check their opening times before you travel.

To become a member of the Senate House Library, you just need to go there with your valid Goldsmiths ID card and register, you can even pre-register on-line to make it quicker. Though our libraries are not officially linked (you cannot return their books to us or vice-versa) this does mean the number of books you can borrow in total is increased. For example as an undergraduate you can borrow 10 books from Goldsmiths and an additional 8 books from Senate House.

The library holds around three million volumes, including 120,000 volumes printed before 1851. Along with a subscription to over 5,200 Journals, other resources include the Goldsmiths’ (not us) Library of Economic Literature,  and the Palaeography room’s collection of western European manuscripts. The library also holds over 170,000 theses by graduate students. You can check their catalogue from home to make sure they have what you need.  If there is a book that Goldsmiths does not stock and nor does Senate House then we can try and get it for you through an Inter-Library Loan.

Please remember that you will need to pay any late fines you owe to Senate House Library before you can graduate from Goldsmiths (you cannot settle these fines through Goldsmiths).

Using the British Library

The British Library is one of the UK’s Legal deposit libraries. This means that the British Library automatically receives a copy of every book (which includes pamphlets, magazines and newspapers).  Being a student in London means you can easily visit the British Library and have access to their 56 million items, all of which can be searched on the catalogue.

Becoming a member

To be able to access the reading rooms at the British Library you need to be a member. To become a member you have to be at least a first year undergraduate student and need  access to something that they hold. You can pre-register online, and then just take in your documentation to fully register and gain your reader pass. You will need proof of identity and address, full details of the items you need to consult and your student card (this must be a valid Goldsmiths card not just your NUS card.)

The Reading Rooms

There are 11 reading rooms in total.  Some items can only be read in certain reading rooms and you will be told this when you order the item, but the majority can be read in whichever reading room suits you. No items can be taken out of the reading rooms, they have to be collected and returned to the issue desks in each room.

All the rooms at the British Library have very strict rules. The main ones to remember are that no coats, bags, pens, food, or drink can be taken into the reading rooms, and absolutely no mobile phones! Do not let all the rules put you off, they are there to make sure everyone can study there without disruption.

If you do not want to visit the British Library, we can get inter-library loans of many of the books or copies of articles that are held there.